DT 26332 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26332

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26332

Hints and tips by Libellule

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BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

A very gentle start to the week. I don’t expect many of you to make use of the blog today!

If you really cannot work out the answer form the hint, highlight the space between the curly brackets.


1. A drilling site? (8,5)
{DENTISTS CHAIR} – The sort of seat where you might get your teeth repaired…

10. Reduction in capital growth (7)
{HAIRCUT} – Capital here is standard crossword land’s reference to a head.

11. It reminds me repeatedly not to change (7)
{MEMENTO} – A double ME followed by an anagram (to change) of NOT is also a souvenir.

12. Sailor’s refuge in drink (4)
{PORT} – A fortified wine, is also a place where ships are loaded and unloaded. A reference to the phrase “any **** in a storm” perhaps?

13. Around the end of May, took out foreign capital (5)
{TOKYO} – An anagram (out) of TOOK is placed around the last letter (end) of May is the capital city of Japan.

14. Examination of the mouth? (4)
{ORAL} – A verbal examination.

17. Scot embraces Hindu Queen of Persia (7)
{IRANIAN} – IAN (a conventional crossword name for a Scot) is placed around (embraces) another word for the wife of a rajah (Hindu Queen), the definition being “of Persia”.

18. Precipitate down-payment (7)
{DEPOSIT} – Double definition, the chemical definition of precipitate, and money entrusted for safe keeping.

19. Girls start with simply designed school tunic (7)
{GYMSLIP} – The first letter (start) of girls is followed by and anagram (designed) of SIMPLY used to be a common piece of a girl’s school uniform.

22. Quiet couple of drinks — or just one drink? (4,3)
{PALE ALE} – The abbreviation for quiet, is followed by another word for beer, twice. Result, an amber coloured beer which is similar to bitter but is drier and lighter.

24. Russian girl in gaol break (4)
{OLGA} – An anagram (break) of GAOL.

25. Constructive member of society (5)
{MASON} – One who builds or works with stone or brick and is also a member of a widespread secret fraternal order.

26. An Oxford Street drunk (4)
{HIGH} – A main street in Oxford is also a slang term for being intoxicated either by alcohol or another drug.

29. Fresh letters of support (7)
{TRESTLE} – An anagram (fresh) of LETTERS is a type of support e.g. a bridge or sawhorse for example.

30. Investigate cut-back at the colliery (7)
{EXAMINE} – A word meaning to observe carefully is constructed from a reversal (back) of a word for chop and is then followed by another word for a colliery

31. Two card games one may come across (7,6)
{PONTOON BRIDGE} – A temporary floating river crossing, is also the name of two card games.


2. Time to take in strange rite in African country (7)
{ERITREA} – Put an anagram (strange) of RITE inside ERA (time) is a country located in the North East of Africa.

3. Take another course in sewing (4)
{TACK} – Double definition, to change direction in a sailing vessel, and to fasten cloth for example with a loose stitch.

4. Take the chair (3,4)
{SIT DOWN} – Exactly what you would do if used a chair as a piece of furniture.

5. Even this dog will have his day, some day perhaps! (7)
{SAMOYED} – An anagram (perhaps) of SOME DAY is a type of Russian dog.

6. Parking on border of grass (4)
{HEMP} – A synonym for cannabis (yes that type of grass) is made up using another word for the finished edge of a piece of cloth followed by P (parking). It seems that you can use “on” to mean either before or after in both across and down clues.

7. Overlooks wild regions (7)
{IGNORES} – An anagram (wild) of REGIONS.

8. Striking was prevalent when these staffs were employed (8-5)
{WHIPPING-POSTS} – These “staffs” were originally used to tie offenders to and then lash them.

9. It takes a turn for the better (8,5)
{ROULETTE WHEEL} – The better in this case is a gambler, and you would typically find this rotating disk at a casino.

15. A short island passage (5)
{AISLE} – A followed by an abbreviation for island will give you a passageway between rows of seats for example.

16. Fruit drink about 2p (5)
{APPLE} – Put another word for beer (drink) around PP (2p) for an edible fruit.

20. It sparks off a megaton explosion (7)
{MAGNETO} – A simple anagram (explosion) of MEGATON is “a small dynamo with a secondary winding that produces a high voltage enabling a spark to jump between the poles of a spark plug in a gasoline engine”.

21. Fix old boy up with dummy pill (7)
{PLACEBO} – Another word for to put (fix) is followed by the reversed (up) abbreviation for old boy and results in a medication that although it doesn’t do anything can make you feel better.

22. Saw dog’s name inside lead (7)
{PROVERB} – A common saying is constructed from a typical dogs name put inside the chemical symbol for lead.

23. Permanent dwelling (7)
{ABIDING} – A double definition lasting for a long time, or living somewhere.

27. It’s in poor taste to let it stand (4)
{STET} – A word used cancel a correction or deletion in a printed work is hidden between taste and to.

28. Army team transport
{TAXI} – The common abbreviation for the Territorial’s is followed by the Roman numeral for the number of players in a football team for example. Definition is transport or a car for hire.

61 comments on “DT 26332

  1. Very gentle indeed, but so stylishly done, as is Rufus’ trademark. There is also his Guardian offering today (free online) which is a litttle more difficult perhaps, but equally enjoyable……

  2. Good sunny morning Libellule, thank you, thank you to Rufus, it is Rufus isn’t it, what a lovely puzzle after yesterday, I like Rufus’ style, lots of short sharp witty clever clues in my humble opinion, lots of favourites, 22a, 25a, 30a, 7d, 15d, 16d etc. thank you to Geoff who helped me out with 8d, last to go in, just couldn’t see it, kept thinking of striking as in matchsticks etc!

  3. A typical Bank Holiday quick to solve puzzle today but with such splendid clues. I liked 10a, 22a, 22d and I thought the capital S for street in 26a was a slightly sneaky diversion. Given the two references to it, (22a and 16d) I have to ask was the setter drinking 22a to help his thoughts!! Thanks Libellule for the hints which as you say, I don’t think many will need today

  4. A gentle Monday but holding my pet hate – 4 letter words. Having said that they were acceptable but not outstanding.

    Sorry Mary – I preferred yesterday’s puzzle to this one.

    Favourite clues were 1a and 18a.

    Thanks to Rufus and thanks Libellule for review – will go read it now.

    1. Lea I can see what you mean, but why struggle with a puzzle like yesterdays brilliant though I suppose it was, when doing a Rufus puzzle is like a breath of fresh air and leaves me feeling ‘perhaps I’m not so stupid after all’ once again different horses for different courses so to speak :) have a lovely day :)

      1. Mary

        There is no way you are stupid at all. Normallty I agree with you on Rufus puzzles but I just hate so many four letter clues in a puzzle – there are 8 of them in this one and that always puts me in a bad mood.

        Other than that the other clues were excellent. Have a lovely day. :smile:

  5. Assuming that I’ve got 23d correct, 26 can surely be a main street in any town – or am I missing something?

      1. Now I don’t know where my original comment went – I’ll try again – assuming that I’ve got 23d correct, 26a can surely relate to any main road in any town

        1. You typed your name in incorrectly. The reference to Oxford is specific, because its “High Street” is commonly known as simply “The “High”

    1. well done Geoff, have put that link in favourites, may be useful, enjoy your day :) very hot here!

      1. Finally you are getting some decent weather Mary. Ours is okay – sun shining but haven’t been out yet.

  6. Lovely puzzle – very quick to do although 8d made me think for a while. Didn’t need the blog today, Libelulle, but, as always, I enjoyed reading it – thank you, and to Rufus. Just back from a few days in France – managed to get DT most days and did the crossword – was feeling a little nervous about not having the blog to resort to!! It’s surprising what the brain can do when it HAS to do it! The only one last week that completely defeated me was a down clue, on the extreme left hand side and can’t remember which day it was but the answer was ‘shock absorbers’ and my sister-in-law managed to get it – and she isn’t even English, she’s French! How clever, and totally bilingual, do you have to be to do a cryptic crossword in a language other than your own?!!!

    1. Kath,
      I do know of one reader of the blog, who is a native french person, who also likes to do the cryptic crossword. Something I find to be somewhat impressive.

      1. SO impressive, I agree. Have pointed brother and sister-in-law in the direction of this blog. They’ll love it!

  7. Nice start to the week. Enjoyable without being over taxing. No help needed from any source today.
    Thanks to Rufus and Libelulle.

  8. 13a could also be another japanese city interestingly,so was very stuck until I noticed it had to be a foreign ‘captital’. Just overlooked when the answer fitted so neatly! Nice puzzle

  9. Lovely puzzle from Rufus today, 26a had me going for a bit.
    5d was excellent and 9d was nicely observed.
    Thanks to Libellule and to Rufus

              1. Definitely wasn’t that. Have you tried today’s Rufus Grauniad. Its just as much fun.

  10. I do think there should be some restriction on people saying how easy these puzzles are.

    I have managed precisely three of these.

    I could almost believe that it is a Friday.


    1. Keep going Peter, that was exactly my reaction on first reading but with a little effort esp on the bottom clues, things will begin to fall into place.

    2. HI Peter, its often like that for me, I read through it all and its like being in a fog!! Its all about how much time you have to spend on it and if you really want to get it done,
      for myself none of them are easy just some easier than others and if you did yesterdays you will know that it was really tough, it took me all day on and off but I was determined not to let it ‘get’ me, I had help from the hints and from Libelulle too, I find that a year after beginning to do these, I am at the stage where most days, but not all, I can do them without the blog but not without my books and machines etc! This blog has been such a tremendous help in the understanding of the cryptic mind but just when you think you’ve got it sussed, something that meant one thing one day doesn’t mean the same the next! But ‘perservation’ is the name of the game and enjoyment of course, don’t be put off because some people have been doing these for years and I’m sure you’ll find that they are some of the most helpful, sorry for pontificating, but I needed and still do need lots of encouragement! so as Barrie says keep going :)

  11. Nice puzzle apart from 26a which only makes any sense if you happen to know Oxford! However, for me 22d is the best crossword clue EVER! Loved it! :-)

  12. Started very slowly today on the first sitting only managed 3 answers, went to a motorbike show in Sittingbourne sat down with it again and breezed through it before I finished my cup of tea. Favourite was 22d thanks to Libellule for the review.

    1. Gari, did you have a pint in the Three Crutches?
      I was sitting outside when 8 Hardley Drivables turned up!!

  13. I should have got 5D immediately (but didn’t), because my grandfather owned one, which heroically pulled facedown infant me out of the fishpond.

  14. Fraid I had fish for 26a and found an old Oxford street on wiki to kid myself I had it right!. Good day off puzzle for an unusually sunny Far North garden bench.

    1. That’s one of my preferred methods as well Beangrinder, and it never fails to let me down!
      Too many favourite clues to mention today.

  15. Really enjoyed that! Not mind-bending but a bit of fun. Loved 22d along with lots more. Thanks to Rufus and Libellule

  16. I have to say I found this the easiest Crypyic puzzle for ages. The nearest I’ll ever get to a ‘no-brainer’! I wrote in all but 2 of the across clues in at first glance, which made most of the Down clues straightforward (apart from 5d, I’m not a dog person. I realised it was an anagram but it was beyond the powers of my electronic puzzle solver.).
    Liked 25a.
    Still haven’t tackled Friday’s Toughie yet, though.

  17. I concur with many previous comments: a very straight-forward challenge and finished off in one sitting – a rare event to get the answers one after the other. Thank you to the setter.

  18. agree that another great Rufus puzzle. Mind you, have just 23d open. And Mr Guinness is shouting at me that it should be easy…………!!

  19. if that was an easy xwrd then im in trouble for the rest of the week!!! happy bank holiday to all.

  20. A very gentle but entertaining puzzle from Rufus.
    I liked 1a, 10a, 22a, 31a, 8d, 9d, 21d & 22d best but the overall style was elegant.
    No need to use the hints as Libellule remarked.

  21. 1a & 10a were my favourites but 26a was poor in my opinion apart from that it was plain sailing

  22. I cant see where the definition is in 22d – saw to proverb?

    Id be grateful for an explanation.



    1. Hi Jonathan – i take it that you meant to type Jonathan rather than Joanthan.
      The definition is saw, which is an adage or proverb.

    2. the dictionary says A familiar saying, especially one that has become trite through repetition which is what a proverb is. It quite often appears in cryptics so is one to file away for future use.

  23. Oh please, please don’t say it was a gentle start… I’ve been swaggering around telling myself I’m getting better… I finished it – correctly – but I cannot see for the life of me how I got PALE ALE… even after looking at your hint… abbreviation for quiet?? I was thinking ‘shhhh…??’

  24. For old hands,very easy.There is a typical British xword which is published in another Kenyan paper,sample this:says sadly and audibly “The proportions!”(5)SIGHS (SIZE).would anyone know which setter uses this style?(it is a 19by19 type)

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